In Arizona, farmer’s market season runs from October to April. It’s backwards, but because it gets so hot here in the summer, outdoor shopping vendors put up their pop-up tents and lay out their wares while the rest of the northern hemisphere shivers in the cold.
When I’m travelling, though, the outdoor market is a MUST! It’s the perfect place to snag a unique souvenir or some fresh-off-the-tree (or vine) snacks or even a low-cost picnic-style dinner in your hotel room with your feet up.
I’ve made it a point to seek out these markets when I’m away from home. The colors and smells offer special insights into what the locals eat at home.
In Venice, the colorful artichokes not only created a beautiful picture, but had me craving a kitchen so I could cook one up and savor the freshness.
In Budapest, I managed to find some fruit to munch on amid the rows and rows of meats and cheeses available in early November when we visited.
Not truly a “farmer’s market,” the food booths at European Christmas markets can keep you fed for days if you want to opt out of the restaurant scene.
Even in the tiny village in Romania where we stayed in Dracula’s Castle, local craft merchants set up tables to offer items for sale.
The fun of the outdoor market is not just in what you find, but how you buy your items. In many places, bartering is not only acceptable, but expected. In the Medina in Fes, Morocco, the cacophony of sounds as locals make their daily deals battle with the sights and smells for your senses’ attention.
In India, the market was filled with dazzling, aromatic spices, including the biggest mountain of garlic I’ve ever seen.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Find one of these little gems during your travels and browse like a native!
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